The Principle of Procreative Beneficence: Old Arguments and A New Challenge

Bioethics 28 (5):255-262 (2014)
In the last ten years, there have been a number of attempts to refute Julian Savulescu's Principle of Procreative Beneficence; a principle which claims that parents have a moral obligation to have the best child that they can possibly have. So far, no arguments against this principle have succeeded at refuting it. This paper tries to explain the shortcomings of some of the more notable arguments against this principle. I attempt to break down the argument for the principle and in doing so, I explain what is needed to properly refute it. This helps me show how and why the arguments of Rebecca Bennett, Sarah Stoller and others fail to refute the principle. Afterwards, I offer a new challenge to the principle. I attack what I understand to be a fundamental premise of the argument, a premise which has been overlooked in the literature written about this principle. I argue that there is no reason to suppose, as Savulescu does, that morality requires us to do what we have most reason to do. If we reject this premise, as I believe we have reason to do, the argument for Procreative Beneficence fails
Keywords PGD  Rebecca Bennett  procreative beneficence  morality  de Melo‐Martin  Robert Sparrow  Julian Savulescu
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2012.01999.x
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B. Saunders (2015). Is Procreative Beneficence Obligatory? Journal of Medical Ethics 41 (2):175-178.

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J. Savulescu (2007). In Defence of Procreative Beneficence. Journal of Medical Ethics 33 (5):284-288.
Diego S. Silva (2010). Dignity Promotion and Beneficence. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 7 (4):365-372.

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